Mass development of a field in Newport is ‘unnecessary’ and will take away a ‘much needed amenity’, a public inquiry has heard.
Resident Robert Edge described land off Station Road as ‘a much enjoyed piece of natural countryside’ and an area that should be ‘enjoyed, not industrialised’. Mr Edge was speaking yesterday at a public inquiry being held to determine whether the area should be classified as a village green.
Resident John Rudd made the application in an attempt to block plans for a 50,000sq ft Sainsbury’s supermarket on the site.
The land is owned by Telford & Wrekin Council which opposes the bid. The authority stands to gain £21 million in land sales if the supermarket goes ahead.
But should the village green bid be successful, the land would forever be saved from development.
Mr Edge,of Station Road, told the hearing at the town’s Royal Victoria Hotel: “I first started to use this area of land 30 years ago. I used the area for dog walking and bird watching.
“However, I suffered a heart-attack a number of years ago and have since used it for brisk walking, jogging and cycling to get fitter. I have also seen others use the area for general play and relaxation including picnicking.”
He added:“In my opinion industrialisation of this beautiful and much enjoyed piece of natural countryside is totally unnecessary and will take away a much enjoyed facility.”
Walkways on the land connect Newport with both Church Aston and Chetwynd Aston.
Paul Evans, who lives in Church Aston, said: “This land has always been the centre for socialising with others. It connects Newport with Church Aston and Chetwynd Aston. We meet daily and see others from each of these locations and spend time in conversation.”
“It is essential that is be given village green status to secure its use by current and future generations.”
More than 30 witnesses have given evidence to say it should be classified as a village green. The first witnesses for Telford & Wrekin Council were due to be called today.
The hearing continues.